Archdiocesan renewal plan received with joy
Catholics of Sydney welcomed the launch of the new archdiocesan mission plan Go Make Disciples following Mass at St Mary’s Cathedral to pray for its success.
The cathedral was full for Mass on 13 December to celebrate Guadete Sunday and pray for the success of the plan which is the culmination of years of “extensive consultations, research and discernment”, said Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP.
“The Church in Sydney needs your gifts and generosity, if we are to be the Church we must be for God and each other in the 2020s and beyond” -Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP
Director of the Sydney Centre for Evangelisation Daniel Ang said he was “absolutely delighted” to celebrate the launch of Go Make Disciples.
“It’s all come together after a lot of work, a lot of prayer and discernment,” Mr Ang said. “I’m just really pleased and I’m praying that it will bear fruit for the city.”
Manager (Catholic Identity) at Sydney Catholic Schools Robert Haddad said he was hopeful that the plan would help to strengthen the bridges between parishes and schools. “That would be wonderful and very fruitful,” he said. “The school is an extension of the parish and is a part of the missionary endeavour of the parish.”
Rector of the Seminary of the Good Shepherd Fr Michael de Stoop said he was impressed by the quality of resources being offered by the Sydney Centre for Evangelisation in support of the mission plan.
“Parishes are at the forefront of Jesus’ mandate to go and spread the Gospel and yet so often they’re the least resourced to do it,” Fr de Stoop said. “So this is a great way by which the parishes can be assisted by the archdiocese.
“It also models what is so essential for evangelisation, and that is for the Church to be in communion. Where there’s teamwork the Holy Spirit is working in and among all of us.”
Lorraine Bobosevic, a parishioner at Mater Dei Parish in Blakehurst who also belongs to Summer Hill’s Catholic Croatian community, had already read the plan online at the Go Make Disciples website and was inspired by the archbishop’s call to the faithful to become ever more generously involved in their parishes.
“People are hungry for spiritual nourishment and to be involved in something greater than themselves but often don’t know where to start,” she said.
University students Anjoe Antony, Thanh Phan and Maria Ngo said they were pleased to see the archbishop promoting personal and parish renewal, particularly after a “tough year” when many faith-enrichment activities were cancelled or held online due to the pandemic.
By “happy coincidence” the plan was launched on the same weekend that the archbishop rescinded his dispensation from the Sunday obligation and asked the faithful to “come home to Mass” in line with the further easing of restrictions on churches. The launch was also timed to coincide with the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, the patron of the New Evanglisation, on 12 December, with an icon of her present in the sanctuary during the Mass.
In his opening remarks at Mass on 13 December, Archbishop Fisher said that Go Make Disciples is an “exciting plan for the spiritual renewal of each one of us, of our parishes and communities, and of all the diocese” and asked all to pray for the intercession of Our Lady of Guadalupe for the success of the archdiocesan mission plan in the Archdiocese of Sydney.
“The Church in Sydney is entering into a phase of renewal with the goal of being the best Church we can be for returnees and newcomers,” the archbishop said in his homily. “So we start afresh with Christ’s great commission to ‘Go and make disciples of all nations’, baptising them, teaching them, and remembering me to them.”
“Ours must be a Church then that evangelises and forms, builds community and leads, and worships the happy God.”
The archbishop said that Go Make Disciples “invites each of us by God’s grace to deepen our discipleship and calls every community of disciples to embrace the evangelising mission of Jesus, reaching out to others, inviting them in word and deed to encounter the joy of the Gospel”.
“The Church in Sydney needs your gifts and generosity, if we are to be the Church we must be for God and each other in the 2020s and beyond,” he said.